Good news amid crisis as new youth fund launched

Youth scorland

Ian McLaughlan conveys good news for the sector despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis 

24th March 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

In the space of one week, the country is now firmly in the grip of the Coronavirus crisis that has seen daily life turned upside down and disrupting families and communities in previously unimaginable ways. This is why we are announcing critical new funding grants for community-based youth work.

Just over a week ago Youth Scotland staff were preparing to scale back on delivery and prepare for working digitally. One week later and we have seen our team mobilised to create work spaces at home, learning how to master MS Teams, prepare revised work plans for supporting 1,500 member youth groups – based on their rapidly emerging needs – and, like millions of others, adapting to a new normal and a new way of working.

In the midst of a lot of negative press over the weekend about people not taking the virus seriously enough, there has been so much good news coming from local communities right across Scotland. The true spirit of looking out for each other has been in glorious technicolour and so inspiring and, government guidelines permitting, really needs to be the dominant message again this week.

Ian McLaughlan

Ian McLaughlan

Youth Scotland is proudly standing alongside what is quite often a hidden army of workers and volunteers running youth clubs, cafes and projects and helping them to reach out to young people remotely in every local authority area of Scotland.

The gift of a youth worker is naturally all about relationship building with young people offering new experiences; guiding them along life’s slippery paths at times; and embarking on a shared journey of learning together. Even in these most extraordinary of times, and with face to face activity suspended, we have witnessed those qualities in abundance this past week albeit conducted digitally and remotely.

Many young people – like adults – are feeling isolated, anxious, worried and in need of vital support to help them through this emergency. Community-based youth work is well placed to continue to help young people during the weeks that lie ahead, and we have plans to support this huge effort now underway.

Many young people are feeling isolated, anxious, worried and in need of vital support

This week, thanks to the generous support of key funders, STV Children’s Appeal and The Robertson Trust, I am delighted to confirm that Youth Scotland is launching a national Youth Scotland Action Fund for the community-based youth work sector. This will help many small youth groups connect with young people using fit for purpose digital tools and technology; helping young people access data who may otherwise be excluded from the technology; and helping youth workers communicate with young people safely. 

For more information, please check the Youth Scotland website for eligibility and application details.

We anticipate that this funding will be oversubscribed very quickly, so we would be delighted to hear from any funders or donors who would like to make a contribution to this combined fund and much needed lifeline. 100% of all funding received will go to local youth groups.

Ian McLaughlan is Youth Scotland’s chief executive